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Welcome to the revised Amelia Alderson Opie Archive, a site designed to make available the scholarly resources essential for the study of the life and works of Amelia Alderson Opie (1769-1853), a woman writer who has emerged as an important figure in scholarship concerning literary culture in the Romantic and early Victorian periods. A member of the radical circle surrounding Godwin and Wollstonecraft in her youth, and a devout Quaker in later life, Opie wrote fiction, poetry and prose essays that reflect a broad range of ideological concerns of the period. Immersed in the culture of sensibility but more fully cognizant of its aesthetic and political implications than many modern critics have been, Opie produced works that reveal a complex engagement with the issues of her day.

Initiated in 2007 with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the archive is designed as a non-profit scholarly website devoted to promoting and disseminating research related to Opie. The site is divided into six main categories:

  • Life, which offers a chronology and a list of full biographies and other biographical sources, as well as a selection of contemporary biographical sketches, and obituary notices;
  • Portraits,which includes paintings as well as engraved portraits of the author published in her lifetime;
  • Works, consisting of Works in Volume which lists editions and reviews (many with full text transcriptions); Works published separately in periodicals and annuals; Manuscripts; and Songs;
  • Letters, which includes a general overview of the Opie correspondence project, as well as a section of transcribed correspondence with scans between Opie and her Briggs cousins, and other miscellaneous correspondence;
  • Musicwhich includes a guide to composers who set Opie’s lyrics, sample scores, and recordings;
  • Bibliography, which gives an integrated bibliography of Opie’s primary works, as well as a guide to both early and recent scholarship.

We are pleased to see the growth in scholarship pertaining to Opie since the initial launch of this site a decade ago, and especially excited to be able to link this site to Roxanne Eberle’s new project, The Correspondence of Amelia Alderson Opie: A Digital Archive.

We welcome your questions and comments.

Shelley King and John B. Pierce

Queen’s University, Kingston ON

2 thoughts on “Home

  1. I have a rather battered copy of Burns Poetry and Letters dated 1824 which seems to have been in the personal possession of Amelia Opie. Various pages are underlined and on the final fly leaves she has copied out lines by Burns relating to death and referred to Edward Falconer as recorded in Burns’ letters. There is also a brief dedication to someone unnamed but signed by her as Mrs Opie – a signature which matches other signatures. The distinctive ‘A’ of Amelia is not in the signature but can be seen in the lines she has copied. The fly leaf at the beginning refers to John Gloyn which also seems to be in her distinctive handwriting. Have you any information on John Gloyn and his relationship to her post 1824?

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    1. How exciting! Giving books as gifts was one of Opie’s favourite things, as the correspondence with Josiah Fletcher held in the Norfolk Record Office attests. I have not come across the name John Gloyn in our work, but will be alert for it. Apologies for the delay in response–each of us thought the other had answered.

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